A new Russian board game, "Our Guys In Salisbury," makes light of the Novichok poisoning in Salisbury, England by taking the two alleged Russian agents around Europe to reach Salisbury Cathedral with the least amount of penalty points. But while the game is a joke playing off the fact that the two men interviewed in the matter said they were simply visiting the English town to see the sites, the families of those killed and injured aren't laughing.
Slate says that the board game follows the adventures of suspected Russian espionage agents Anatoliy Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin who are thought to be behind the Novichok poisoning of Sergei Skripal, a former Soviet agent, and his daughter Yulia. But while the game's designer, Mikhail Bober, calls the game a "bridge to friendship" and a "humorous answer to our Western neighbors" relatives of those harmed by the poisoning disagree.
Charlie Rowley and his partner Dawn Sturgess were both exposed to the poison along with the Skripals, and Charlie's brother, Salisbury resident Matthew Rowley, says his brother is still suffering from vision and mobility problems while Sturgess died. Rowley is outraged and believes that the game should be recalled.BBC interviewed Matthew Rowley about his disappointment that the game has been released, and that the creator thinks it's a joke.
The interviewer asked Rowley about his first impression about the game "Our Guys In Salisbury."
"Awful, it's just awful. I do not know who does it. It seems that they laugh at us because they got away with it. I have to meet my brother in just a few minutes. And this news is absolutely disgusting! This should not happen."
Rowley doesn't know how he will tell his brother about the board game, saying that he hasn't told him yet.
"Not yet. I don't know if I should tell him about it. But even if I say, I will do it very, very gently."
Slate says that the board game isn't the first time that Russians have made light of the poisoning incident in Salisbury. Media outlet Russia Today sent out chocolate replicas of the Salisbury Cathedral to other media companies as New Year's gifts. One of the recipients tweeted out a photo with the chocolates with a cheeky caption.
"Come for tea, we're afraid to eat it alone."
Russian officials continue to deny any role in the nerve agent poisonings in Salisbury.
"The new accusations against Russia and Russian citizens under the so-called Skripal case do not stand up to scrutiny."